Name of Book: You Are Special
Author: Max Lucado
Illustrator: Sergio Martinez
Publisher: Crossway Books
Audience: Early elementary (Kindergarten- 3rd grade): I think that this book is something that younger students would like, but I think it is also a good story to read to older students because it has such a good meaning.
Summary: This story is about a group of small wooden people called Wemmicks. The Wemmicks were made of wood and were carved by Eli, who overlooked their village. The Wemmicks judge each other with stickers. These stickers are like labels that people put on others every day like: fat, ugly, stubborn, bigot, etc. Certain judgments and labels were especially put on one of the Wemmicks whose name was Punchinello. These labels eventually hurt Punchinello to his core but then he met Lucia. Lucia was one of the Wemmicks who would get all the good labels however she didn’t care what Wemmicks thought. With conversations she convinced Punchinello to go talk to Eli about everything. While he is talking to Eli, Punchinello realizes it doesn’t matter how Wemmicks view him because Eli loved him and he was a divine masterpiece.
Literary Elements at work in this story: One of the literary elements that I feel is important is the characterization. Children will be able to relate to the character of Punchinello because even at a young age, children can feel judged. I believe children will be able to identify with the feeling of acceptance that Punchinello feels after speaking with Eli. Another literary element that I feel is important in this story is the plot. The events that take place in the story help tell the overall story of acceptance. The story helps children understand that they shouldn’t worry about what others think- the important thing is that God loves them no matter what and accepts them as they are.
How does the perspective on gender/culture/economics/ability make a difference in the story?: This story emphases that the world will label us and they will say and do harsh things to us, but when we focus on the creator we realize we are magnificently made.
Theological Conversation: In the book, You Are Special, you come to see Wemmicks as the world we live in. Lucia would be a great disciple leading another to the creator. Eli is definitely God and realize that God loves us and sees us as nothing less than beautiful.
Faith Talk Question:
- How does it make you feel that God sees you as a divine masterpiece? – Before getting to this question, I would talk ask/explain what a Masterpiece is. I would get the class/group to discuss great masterpieces such as paintings, sculptures, etc…
- How does the world view you? Ex.) Are you athletic, like to draw, etc…- How would your friends view you?
- How do you view yourself?
- How does God view you? – At end then explain how God sees us as a “Masterpiece.”
This review is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Dan Sullivan
You Are Special by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.